Unearthing the Lesser-Known Gems of the Basque Country: Must-View Attractions During Your Visit

Welcome to the Basque Country, a unique land with hidden treasures and unexpected nuggets just waiting to be discovered during your stay. Let yourself be surprised by the cultural richness, natural beauty and unique art of living of this region, for unforgettable moments and authentic memories.

Beyond the renowned seaside resorts, the Pays Basque conceals unsuspected treasures which make this region even more endearing. Between picturesque villages, exceptional residences and breathtaking landscapes, embark on an unforgettable adventure. Follow the leader !

Château Abbadia, an architectural feat by the ocean

Near Hendaye, a neo-Gothic castle stands proudly on a ledge overlooking the ocean. THE Abbadia Castle, work of the architect Viollet-le-Duc, is a real gem. As you explore its sumptuous rooms, you will discover a one-of-a-kind chaise longue, a library of 10,000 volumes and a richly decorated chapel. The quotes engraved on the walls and the ornamental sculptures bear witness to the passion of Antoine d’Abbadie, its sponsor, for geography, astronomy and oriental culture. Don’t forget to visit the surrounding park for a calming stroll.

Cambo-les-Bains: thermal baths and sumptuous gardens

About twenty kilometers from the Basque coast is Cambo-les-Bains. Known for its Belle Epoque thermal baths, this city is a haven of peace. Enjoy its lush gardens, decorated with palm trees and exotic plants, for a relaxing break. There Villa Arnaga, residence of the famous writer Edmond Rostand, is a must-visit. Its neat interiors and French gardens make it a magical place to reconnect with nature and culture.

Espelette: the village that spices up your visit

Espelette is a village where the pepper is king. Its facades decorated with bunches of red peppers offer a unique visual spectacle. The pedestrian streets are full of shops where you can buy this PDO spice with Mexican origins. In October, a major chili festival attracts thousands of visitors to celebrate this local treasure. A real immersion in Basque culture!

Sare, between tradition and nature

Ranked among the most beautiful villages in France, Saree seduced by its traditional Basque architecture and its 17th and 18th century residences. Visit the Basque Ortillopitz House for a journey back in time. The Saint-Martin church with its wooden galleries and the cemetery with its characteristic crosses are also worth a detour. Not far away, the prehistoric caves of Xareta invite you to a fascinating exploration. For nature lovers, multiple hiking trails will take you to the summit of the Rhune, offering breathtaking panoramas.

The little Rhune train: a magical climb

For an extraordinary experience, board the little train of Rhune. Its wooden wagons take you through green landscapes, populated by pottoks, these small horses typical of the Basque Country. Arriving at the summit, at an altitude of 900 meters, you will enjoy a 360° view of the Basque lands, the Landes and the Atlantic Ocean. A breathtaking spectacle, particularly at dawn or dusk.

The Arraya hotel in Sare: an enchanted parenthesis

For an authentic getaway, book a room at theArraya hotel in Sare. Nestled in a 16th century Basque house, this establishment run by a charming couple offers warm hospitality. Each room, tastefully decorated, promises a relaxing stay. You will also find a Basque souvenir shop and a swimming pool to relax in after a day of sightseeing.

The Chilhar restaurant in Espelette: a gourmet restaurant

Led by chef Fabien Munarriz, the Chilhar restaurant d’Espelette offers local cuisine that highlights local products. Between land and sea, each dish is a surprise for the taste buds. The friendly setting and the authenticity of the flavors make this place an essential address for gourmets. In addition, the prices are reasonable, which adds to the charm of the place.

Some practical advice

To reach the Basque Country, you can opt for a train journey departing from Paris, Montparnasse station, or a flight from Orly. Once there, the possibilities for discovery are endless. Visit the websites www.paysbasque-tourisme.com and www.tourisme64.com for additional information and excursion ideas.

Want to know more ? Explore these hidden treasures and let yourself be enchanted by the cultural and natural wealth of the Basque Country. You will not be disappointed !